readers recall California missions school project – Orange County Register
New state educational guidelines for fourth-grade history and social studies may mean a gradual end to the time-honored traditional school project of building a model of one of the 21 Spanish missions in California.
Becky Ramirez’s son Sean, 9, made a model of the Mission San Francisco de Asís in fourth grade last year. “He really got a lot out of it,” Becky Ramirez said of her son’s project. “I learned so much through him. I learned what the El Camino Real was. … He was just super, super excited.”
Student Joseph Silva paints the cardboard church for a model of a California mission being built by fourth-graders as a class project at Our Lady of Grace School in Encino on Tuesday. (January 20, 2009)(photo by Evan Yee, Los Angeles Daily News staff photographer)
Parent Lutzie Francisco adds a bell to the church in a model of a California mission being built by fourth-graders as a class project at Our Lady of Grace School in Encino on Tuesday. (January 20, 2009)(photo by Evan Yee, Los Angeles Daily News staff photographer)
“I try to paint the whole picture,” said Scott Schugel, fourth-grade teacher at Woodland Hills Elementary Charter for Enriched Studies. His students learn about the negative consequences mission life had for Native Americans, but also about how the missions were founded, built and operated. They also annually “refurbish” a mission outside the classroom that a previous class built from adobe bricks.
Kimberly Morgan built a model of the Soledad Mission when she was in school. Years later, her daughter Kaylynn (right, with dad and husband Andrew, back) also built a mission model for a school assignment at Lincrest Elementary School in Yuba City, where the family lives now. “Looking at hers versus the one my parents did, there are reasons why they did mine! I tried and failed big time! Hahaha. Hey, I made sure my kid got in on the process though! That’s what counts!” Kimberly Morgan said.
Kimberly Morgan of Yuba City remembered making a model of the Soledad Mission when she was in fourth grade. Recently, her daughter Kaylynn made her own mission project for school. “(Kaylynn) had the option to do a mission report or do something that represents California! For nostalgia purposes I had her do the mission! I wanted her to experience the process! Granted we had to write a huge report and visit at least 2 missions, but I think she enjoyed the project!”
“I made a mission model in 1988/89. It taught me a lot about…